Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Remembering a Zebulon Icon
By Becky Watts

ZEBULON - The house by the Post Office in Zebulon was a local icon for a long time. There was another two story house sitting next door to it that was an icon as well. After sitting empty for many years, both were demolished not too long ago. I’ve asked several people for information on the house, but Bennie Mobley is the only one who has gotten back to me with in-depth information. I’ll be happy to add more information if anyone else calls or emails me about it.

Bennie lived in the house on the corner rent free with his family and worked on the house for five years from 1994 to 1999. He gave me some history of the house and the house next door as well as pictures of the house that he lived in. Many people expressed sorry at the end of an era for this house.

He remembers the two story house next door being a museum twenty-five years ago. He said that there were soaps for sale there with other items for sale like an old store. “It was interesting,” he said.

The house on the corner was built around 1905.


Bully Elliott used to live in the house at some point before Bennie did. Bully had a 1963 baby blue Ford Falcon that used to be in the barn that was long gone from the property these days. The unique porch with round ends was painted with layers of oil based, government paint.

“If you mix lots of colors,” Bennie said, “it will be gray.” He said that Bully used a mop to paint the front porch and that the paint was so thick that there was no telling how many times it had been painted. He said that there used to be a bench on the front porch that probably had twenty coats of paint on it!

Bully lived through the Depression so there were some interesting things found in the house when Bennie moved in. He said that Bully saved a lot of things. There were many keys like those used to open a can of sardines that were nailed to one wall. There were family pictures that he gave back to the family.

There was a piece of wood that had many penny nails in it. And everything was nailed down in the house. He even used roofing nails to make a picture of the three wise men with a star on one of the walls of the house.

Lynn Cunningham from the Pike County Historical Society sent the following from an old Pike Journal Reporter: Jesse England "Bully" Elliott was born 1 Jan 1910 in Pike County. He died 17 Dec 1992 and is buried in Moody Memorial Gardens. His father was James Robert Elliott and his mother was Eudora Bush. They are buried at Ebenezer Methodist on Hwy 18 going towards Barnesville.

This was his only sister: Miss Mattie. (Also from The Pike Journal Reporter) November 6, 1904 - June 10, 2006. Miss Mattie Lucy Elliott, age 101 of Molena, passed away June 10, 2006 in the Molena Nursing Home, where she had been a resident for many years. Miss Elliott was the only daughter, along with nine brothers born to the late Mr. James Robert "Bob" Elliott and the late Mrs. Eudora "Dora" Bush Elliott. Miss Elliott was preceded in death by her parents and nine brothers - Monroe, Bill, Jack, Roscoe, Doug, Clark, Jones, Marion, and England "Bully" Elliott. She was also preceded in death by a niece, Sue Elliott Kennedy and Nephews, Jimmy Elliott, Wilbur Elliott, Barton Elliott, and Goddard Elliott. Miss Elliott was a good Christian lady who loved her family and loved to sing Gospel music. She loved parades and the last one she rode in was on her 100th birthday in the Molena Festival Parade.

Changes to the House

Bennie described himself as a 4th generation carpenter who also had experience working with mirrors. He described the renovations to the one bathroom that were rather extensive. He resurfaced a claw foot tub and build a round seven inch step up around it. There were mural mirrors on the wall in that bathroom along with two different kinds of wallpaper from a bygone era.

“Every room was connected so you could walk into any room from the hall,” he said. There were ten foot ceilings in the rooms and a vaulted ceiling in the kitchen that was twelve feet high.

The bathroom was originally on the back porch, and the septic tank was a well that was about 20 feet deep. Bennie said that the house was hooked up to city sewage when he moved in. He described an old Philco stove with a built in deep fryer that he got rid of when he moved in because it didn’t work anymore. He said that a cardboard fuse was blown.

He said that a friend of his worked at a cabinet door business and there was an order of doors that wasn’t what the customer wanted so he bought them. He renovated the kitchen with custom built cabinets to fit the truck load of doors that he bought for $100. There were 88 cabinet doors and 27 drawers in the kitchen!

The highlight of the kitchen was a two level island with a wire rack. Bennie bought the Thermador refrigerator from a thrift store. And the floors throughout the house were hard wood that were built from $50 shorts. He said that keeping the floor straight as that was laid down was not easy!

He said that the gas bill ran $320 to $560 a month when it was cold. They used old space heaters for warmth. And if it was really cold, he would bring in the ready heater from his job and get everyone warmed up!

There were five kids living in the house when Bennie lived there. He worked in Atlanta, but the highlight of the day for the ladies in the house was to sit on the front porch and drink coffee. He said that his wife at the time, Becky, the girls and their friends all liked to sit on the front porch and watch all that was going on in Zebulon. “Everybody loved to come there and hang out on the porch,” Bennie said.

Cool Houses, a Pear Tree, and One Big Yard Sale

Shane Horton told me that he used to ride his bike to the Dairy Queen then head over to Bennie’s house to hang out with Bryan Bennett when he was younger. Shane said that he made friends with the man who lived in the yellow house next door too. “He knew my great granddaddy so I would visit him,” he said. “The house was full of wonderful antiques then and even then I loved antiques!”

Shane said that he talked the owner into letting him look in the house at the antiques. As their friendship grew, the owner asked Shane if he could keep a secret and shoed him that the house had several secret passageways that linked the house as well as a secret passage down under the house with a tunnel that led away from the house even though the tunnel had caved in at some point. “I knew that there was something special about the house,” he said. Shane was one of many who spoke fondly about these houses as they were demolished and removed from view in late November of 2017.

Bennie said that the pear tree between the house and the Post Office was quite popular every year. Everyone came by to get pears from that tree, he said. “They said that no other pear tasted like it!” There was even one couple who came by for a bushel every year because they wanted the really ripe pears that were on the ground.

There were many pecan trees surrounding the house, but Bennie said that he didn’t have time to do anything with the pecans. Ironically, the pecan trees have outlived the houses that sat on the front side of each property.

Bennie said that they had a yard sale when they moved out. He described it like going to a thrift store with antiques and clocks. He said that they made $2,300 in one day from that yard sale!


Today, Bennie lives in Barnesville and was nostalgic about the demolition of the house as he spoke to me by phone. He has started playing harmonica again and has been featured in Georgia Traveler Magazine in the 2016 article entitled “2016 Georgia Travel Guide Features Ensemble Shot of GA Musicians.” georgiamusic.org/2016-georgia-travel-guide-features-ensemble-shot-of-ga-musicians/

Bennie is part of the duo named Dos Blues Guys, along with Andy Johnson, guitarist and vocalist for Royal Johnson, who together won first place in the 2016 Atlanta Blues Challenge. Bennie was also the winner of the 2015 Southwestern Harmonica Championship. www.makingascene.org/atlanta-blues-challenge-2016/

Bennie played at the Spalding County Fair this year and is looking forward to the 2017 Atlanta Blues Challenge!

Thanks to Bennie for sharing his memories and pictures with Pike County Times

Photos above of how this bathroom looked in the 90's. All of these photos are courtesy of Bennie Mobley.

Houses by the Zebulon Post Office Demolished Today
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - The two houses located next to the Post Office in Zebulon are no more. The beautiful old house on the corner was an icon of sorts in Zebulon and will be missed. Derrick Johnson Equipment was hired to demolish the houses, and that process began today.

The houses looked stable from the outside but were a safety hazard that needed to be addressed. The house on the corner and the yellow house next to it on Highway 19 are gone tonight.

I talked to Jerry Colwell by phone about the houses today, and he advised that the houses were beyond the point that they could be fixed. Jerry said that he has no plans for these lots at this time.

There are more pictures below this article. And if anyone has any history on this house that you would like for me to add to my article, please contact me by email or phone.

Thanks to Rosemary Bunn and Steve Hicks for letting me know that the houses were being demolished.

If you see news in Pike County, call or text me at 770-468-7583 or contact me through Facebook. I am happy to upload photos with the name of the contributor on them because I like to give credit where credit is due. Pike County Times is truly a community newspaper!


Photo courtesy of Rosemary Bunn.

This is where the yellow house used to be.

Perhaps these pieces from the porch will go on to live in another project and those who see it will remember this history from Zebulon.